Liverpool Plasterers


We offer plastering services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Liverpool.
Skimming is the process of applying a skim coat to an interior wall. Skim coats can be applied in various thicknesses and consistencies depending on what you are skimming and how much texture you want. The skim coat is typically applied between one-quarter inch and one-half inch thick but can vary depending on preference. A skimmer’s job is to apply the skimming material so that it adheres well to the surface of the wall and leaves no imperfections or air bubbles in its wake. This article will discuss everything you need to know about skimming, including why it’s important, tools used for skimming, types of skimmers available for purchase, and safety precautions necessary when dealing with this kind of plastering work.

Benefits of skimming

Skimming is a vital process in plastering that ensures the skimmer has smoothed out all visible imperfections from within the wall. Skimming removes any air bubbles or bumps before applying another layer of material, which provides an even surface and reduces the chances of cracks forming across the topcoat after it’s applied. The final skimming coat should also be thick enough to hide any blemishes on your own. If skimmers are not careful with their application, they risk having uneven surfaces once finished-this can lead to potential cracking along with the areas where there were inconsistencies in thickness.

The process we use for skimming

The first step when skimming involves carefully applying adhesive onto sections at a time, following closely behind with a trowel. The skimmers then use a tamping rod to create an even layer, but they are careful not to press down too firmly to avoid creating air bubbles that will weaken the surface and make it susceptible to potential cracking over time.

After skimming is done, there should be only a minimal residue left on the wall; this can be removed by wiping with a damp cloth or cleaner before proceeding to paint.

Tools we use for skimming and their uses

Drywall compound skimmers

This type of skimmer is also known as a drywall knife and is an essential tool for skimming. This particular skimming instrument can be used to create smooth, even surfaces with minimal air bubbles, making it perfect for use on walls before painting or papering the surface.

Drywall taping knives

These are similar in that they’re primarily designed for skimming drywall but are generally more expensive depending on the quality required by the user. They may have a sharper blade than standard skimmers, which makes them ideal for creating professional finishes at home.


The Primer is a skimming product that helps the skimming glide over any bumps and imperfections on the surface. It also covers up holes, which are sometimes created by screws or nails.

Paint roller and roller sleeve

A paint roller and a skimming sleeve are for skimming walls that need to be painted.

A skimmer or drywall scraper

When applying a skim coat, you can use either of these tools, but the skimmers allow more control over how much material is applied, so they’re generally considered the better option.

Bleach sprayer and foam brushes

For those who prefer not to create as many drips on their skimming surface, bleach spraying beforehand will help kill any bacteria while also making sure your new finish stays fresh-smelling! You could also try using an airless sprayer with a high-pressure nozzle if you want even fewer drip marks (though this does require some professional knowledge). Alternatively, brush-on liquid soap to the skimmer, and then use a foam brush to spread it.

Mud pan

This will be used to collect excess skimming material that you may have accidentally applied.

Mop and bucket

These are needed for cleaning up any drips or paint marks your skimmer left behind.

Tape measure, pencil, paper bags

These are used to mark off skimming regions and to plan out the skimming process.

Safety tools

Safety goggles, protective gloves, an apron, and a dust mask. These are used for protection against any skimmer material that may get into your eyes or mouth (or on your clothes).

Plywood board

This will be put up at the beginning of each skimming region, so you won’t have to worry about completely covering small areas with trowel-on materials like latex or acrylic paint. Make sure it’s big enough for all four sides of the wall!

Cordless drill

Cordless drill with screw attachment bits. You’ll need this if you want to attach plywood boards securely in place while skipping some steps when putting them together manually-simply use screws instead of nails.

Hammer, skimming trowel or skimming brush, and a bucket of skim coat material (latex or acrylic paint)

We use latex for most jobs because it dries faster than acrylics do-but you should choose whichever type is more convenient at the time!

Wooden work surface

This will protect your floors from spills as well as provide an easy-to-clean area to mix materials on if need be. Resin generally has less clean-up, so we try not to spill too much during the mixing stages!

Grout floats

These are used for creating perfect lines in grouting after skimmer application; they’re also great for getting skimming into the gaps in skimming!

Trowel or skimmer brush

We find that a trowel is easier to use for large surfaces, while skimmer brushes are best for detailed work such as around joints and corners.

Protective clothes

It’s easy enough to get skimming on your clothes-make sure you’ve got something protective covering up beforehand! And if you’re wearing any jewelry, it might be wise to take it off before starting any surface preparation!

Paint roller

This can be used when applying skim coat materials, so there isn’t too much mess involved in creating even coverage over larger areas. However, this technique only works with latex paints; acrylics dry too quickly and will just roll off the surface.

Lint-free clothes

These are used for skimming and wiping surfaces down after you’ve finished, as well as removing any residue left by skimmer brushes or other tools from work surfaces.

Squeegee knife

This is a very specific skimming tool, used to remove excess material from the surface and create a smooth finish.

Skim coat materials

Depending on what type of skimming you are doing, there will be different requirements for skimmer materials. For example, if you’re going with skim coating plastering over an existing wall paint job, then this can only be done when it’s completely dry-so that means waiting at least three days! Whereas in less severe cases, such as filling uneven gaps between joints or applying patchwork repairs, you’ll need to use generic joint compound (also known as spackling paste), which is much quicker drying-which might mean starting now and finishing by tomorrow morning!

Kitchen sponge/rag

A skimmer tool is a skimming sponge-which can be used in conjunction with a joint compound, or by itself. In the case of using it alone, you might need to use old kitchen sponges or rags that are on their last legs and have been cut into smaller pieces first so as not to tear apart when skimming.

Hairdryer/heat gun

A hair dryer can be useful for drying out joints if they’ve just been filled up with skirting plaster paste (a type of skim). Alternatively, one could always use a heat gun instead, but this will take much longer than normal air-drying time!


A skimming brush is a paint brush with soft bristles (usually made of natural hair) that are less likely to leave behind any marks on the surface. It can be used for skimming as well as applying finishing touches like plaster or joint compound after skimming has been done.

Trowel and taping knife

These will both come in handy when you’re skimming-a small trowel would do, but some people prefer using a larger one so they can work more steadily. The taping knife should preferably have an offset handle. They’ll help you apply the skirting plaster paste which holds up all your skim layers together!

Sanding pole and sandpaper

You can use a sanding pole to skim over any rough spots on the wall, such as when you’re taping off a seam. The power of these tools comes in handy at this point. And don’t forget that if there are holes or gaps in your paper, it’s time for more skimming!

Safety glasses or goggles

The skimping process can create quite a mess as you’re working, so protect your eyes at all times.

Different types of skimming

The different types of skimming include

All-purpose skimming

This skimming is used for both interior and exterior skimming jobs. It’s the perfect plastering tool for a variety of surfaces, including wood that has been pre-coated or primed with oil.

Soft-texture skimmers

These are the most common type of skimmer because their texture makes them easier to manipulate on vertical surfaces. The soft-texture tool should always remain moist so that if you need to stop working while you complete your plastering project, the wall isn’t damaged by drying out.

Abrasive skimmers

These are typically metal tools that have rough or textured surfaces for skimming flat masonry walls that have imperfections. They can be used to remove the shine from a surface and give it a more matte finish.

Quick set skimming

This skimming is designed to set quickly and it’s most commonly used on brickwork. It can be applied in the same manner as a conventional skimmer, but this type will dry much faster, so you don’t have to wait for long periods of time before continuing with your plastering project.

Topping skimming

This skimming is designed to be applied over an existing skimmer, and it’s typically used for repairing imperfections or adding a protective layer.

Medium-textured skimmers

These skimmers usually have a more uniform surface than abrasion skimmers and they’re often made from metal. They can also be referred to as finishing skimmers.

Non-shrink skimming

If you’re working on an especially large area where shrinkage might be a problem, this skimmer will help to avoid it completely! You’ll want to use non-shrink skimming when applying gypsum board to areas such as ceilings, floors, partitions, and walls. This type of skimming also comes in handy if your surface requires some additional protection against moisture, like polystyrene boards or cement fiberboard sheets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost of skimming?

The average cost of skimming is $500-$600. Skimmers are often used as a finishing layer, so they’re only required if the surface is uneven or has deep cracks and holes. A skimmer won’t be necessary for walls that have been plastered but just need to be cleaned off by removing old paint or wallpaper.

Is skimming a messy job?

No, skimming isn’t very messy because it doesn’t require the same amount of material (clay) needed when laying plaster on drywall. However, there will still be a minor mess from using tools like taping knives, wire brushes, and nail floats to clean up any imperfections in your wall’s texture before we begin skimming.

Are there hazards to skimming?

Skimming is a safe job, but we are always careful not to skimp on necessary safety gear like gloves and eye protection. We make sure that the skimmer does the same, so they don’t accidentally cut themselves while using tools or get hurt from spills.

Do you need to wash the walls before skimming?

It depends on the skimming process being used, but in most cases, you will need to. It’s best not to skimp out and just skim over a surface that hasn’t been cleaned before because it can lead to problems like stains or uneven paint coverage down the line.

Can I do the skimming myself?

No, it’s best left up to professionals because of all our expertise in this trade. However, if you want to try skimming out for yourself, we recommend practicing with some skim board underlayment before starting off on your walls (drywall). There’s also no need to worry about making a mess since these boards can be peeled back without leaving residue behind!